Donald Trump’s attorney general condemned his former boss on Friday, saying there was no legitimate reason for government documents to be kept at Mar-a-Lago.
Bill Barr said he doesn’t believe Trump’s claim that he declassified everything before he was taken to his Florida compound, and he hit back at criticism of the FBI search by saying that it was “unprecedented” for such sensitive documents to be taken to a “country”. club.’
Barr made his comments as Trump supporters continue to accuse the FBI and Justice Department of conducting a witch hunt.
But on Friday, a court filing revealed the extent of documents recovered from Trump’s Florida home: 18 documents marked top secret, 54 marked secret, 31 marked confidential and 11,179 government documents or photographs with no classification marking.
Barr defended the Justice Department’s actions and expressed disbelief at Trump’s defense that he had declassified the documents.
“If, in fact, he was sort of standing in front of dozens of boxes, not really knowing what was in them, and saying, ‘I’m declassifying everything here,’ that would be such an abuse,” he said. told Fox News.
“And it shows such recklessness that it’s almost worse than taking the documents.”
Donald Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr condemned his former boss on Friday, saying there was no legitimate reason for government documents to be kept at Mar-a-Lago.
An FBI photograph of the search released this week revealed how some of the documents were clearly marked as classified – but sparked defamation allegations against Trump
Barr was appointed attorney general by Trump in February 2019 but resigned in December the following year when the president launched a campaign to overturn the election result.
In testimony before the House committee on Jan. 6, he said Trump had become “detached from reality.”
In the new interview, he also pushed back on criticism from the Justice Department and the FBI for investigating Trump’s handing over of government documents.
“I think the driver of this from the start was piles of classified information at Mar-a-Lago,” he said, as he defended the search of a former president’s home.
“People say it was unprecedented.
“Well, it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club.”
Agents stand guard outside Mar-a-Lago on August 8 as the FBI searched the property
Trump has repeatedly accused the Justice Department of conducting witch hunts against him, and his supporters have demanded that the FBI be canceled or abolished.
Former FBI agents have also spoken out to refute claims that researchers strewn documents on the ground to make Trump look bad.
The release this week of a photograph showing classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago carpet has angered Trump and his allies, who have accused the FBI of staged the image to discredit the former president. .
“Terrible the way the FBI, during the Mar-a-Lago raid, randomly threw documents on the ground (claiming maybe I did it!), then started to take pictures of them for the public to see,” he wrote on his Truth social media platform.
“Thought they wanted them to be kept secret?” »
And in a phone interview, he claimed they made him look like a “slob”.
The allegation added to complaints that the FBI had embarked on a political mission by searching his home as it sought to investigate government documents apparently kept by Trump after he left office.
An inventory of seized items released on Monday morning made it clear that the documents seen on the carpet actually came from a box or container in an office
A majority of Americans in a Wall Street Journal poll released this week say the FBI’s search for Mar-a-Lago was part of a proper investigation
But former agents, who alone conducted hundreds of similar searches, said there was nothing wrong with the photo.
“Trump’s conclusion was that it was published to show negligence, but I don’t think there was any assertion about that,” said Bobby Chacon, who left the FBI after a career of 24 years which included searches for classified documents.
“It was a normal photograph that I expected to be taken.”
Michael Tabman, another former agent, said it would have been part of a series of photographs taken to document the investigation, showing where the items were found and the items themselves.
“We always take pictures when searching – before entering, what we find and what it looks like on the way out to avoid claims that we destroyed anything,” he said.
“Since the critical item of the search was for sensitive documents, they laid it out to show the cover pages which are clearly marked as top-secret.”
. Bill Barr insists on does Trump NOT declassified the documents seized by FBI